Paul Martin Rutgers
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 180 lb.
Paul Rutgers played for the Australian youth and junior national teams. debuted in the minor leagues in 2002 with the GCL Twins, hitting .244/.270/.267 in 31 games as a backup 2B to Jose Morales. He made his Claxton Shield debut in 2003, hitting .321/.367/.500 while filling in for the missing Ben Utting at shortstop for the Victoria Aces. He scored 8 runs in 7 games.
In the minors in 2003, Paul tore up the Gulf Coast League, hitting .353/.388/.443 for the Twins with 35 runs in 56 games and 16 steals in 23 tries. He was second in the GCL in average behind Gilberto Mejia. He was named to the GCL All-Star team as the top second baseman. He was just 2 for 13 for Victoria in the 2004 Claxton Shield.
The 20-year-old played for the Swing of the Quad Cities in 2004 and hit .202/.310/.246 in an awful 77 games. Back in Australia, he was revived with Victoria, hitting .393/.379/.464 and won the Batting Award for his .500 average in the preliminary phase. In '05, he batted .230/.304/.291 as a 2B-OF for the Beloit Snappers to conclude his Organized Baseball career.
Rutgers made his debut for the Australian senior team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. He hit .385/.385/.538 as Australia's primary left fielder and stole 4 bases in 4 tries. He was third on Australia in average in that event. He also tied Lingfeng Sun for third in steals, 4 behind leader Eduardo Paret.
In the 2006 Claxton Shield, the Victoria native hit .333/.394/.533 with 6 RBI in 7 games for the Aces. Rutgers made the Australian roster for the 2006 World Baseball Classic and went 1 for 2 at the plate in that competition. He pinch-hit for Tom Brice in the 6th inning against the Dominican national team and struck out against Francisco Liriano. In the 9th, he greeted reliever Duaner Sanchez with a single and came around on a Luke Hughes grounder for the 3rd run in a 6-4 loss. Rutgers hit .285/.361/.423 for the independent Chillicothe Paints that summer, having been let go by Minnesota. He stole 14 bases in 15 tries for the Paints. Rutgers completed his busy '06 with the Australian national team once again, hitting .231/.267/.269 for them in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup as their main right fielder. He stole 4 bases in 4 attempts again. He led the Cup in steals, one ahead of Kei Nomoto, the only other player with more than two.
In the 2007 Claxton Shield, Paul batted .296/.406/.481 to help his team to a title; he won the Gold Glove at second base in the event. Rutgers hit .254/.346/.387 for Chillicothe in '07 with 22 doubles, but he only stole 3 bases this time around.
Rutgers shone once more in the 2008 Claxton Shield, hitting .319/.429/.489 with 15 runs in 12 games and 4 steals in 4 tries. He led the tourney in runs scored.
Rutgers was on South Africa's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In the Classic, he went one for eight but got South Africa's lone extra-base hit, a double off of Mexico's Elmer Dessens.